Monday, November 29, 2010

Reverse Appliqué Class - Done

 Hi All,  Hope you had a wonderful Holiday weekend!  I got to see my cousin Matt and his daughter Brigid who lives up north in Washington.  We had a great time and great food and brought my guitar over to hear what Matt has been creating.  (A budding coffee house guitar star).   Gramma made my husband Pete a pie care package to go.  One whole pie pan with pieces of apple, chocolate cream, and pumpkin.  He was in heaven.

Thanks Uncle Joe and Aunt Debbie for having all of us over (about 18 in Southern California).   I love my family, we are truly blessed.

So Saturday, I taught a reverse appliqué class at Orange Quilt Bee in Orange California.

I had three lovely people in my class and we had great fun.  Ok, maybe not so much fun as they worked really hard.  Everyone did great and I think they all got the hang of the technique.

My neighbor Betty even joined us, I put her in the corner, see.  But not because she is bad.

I brought samples and tools and suggestions, my quilt bag of requirement was packed full, you can't see but I have a pile on the floor as well. ;]

I did not get a picture of the finished results, but we are meeting later in Dec to show and tell and I can't wait to see what they have completed.

So right next to where we are working my sample quilt for the Tic-Tac...Oh!  pattern is display in the store front window.  Very excited about that.

Off to Vegas for my annual Autodesk University jaunt.  I am only teaching one class there this year and am looking forward to it.

Have a great week and hope you get time to sew.

Love Aunti Nicole

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bee Splendid in November

This is Audrey's month in my Bee Splendid friendship group.  She did most of the work and pre-cut all the squares.  The block is the same for everyone but the arrangement will vary.  I just love the cheery cherry fabrics she chose.

2 Blocks are 15 1/2" square.

Its been rainy and cold all weekend here in "Sunny" Southern California.  Its ok, because I love to watch the rain outside and play with "sunny" fabrics inside.

Oh and isn't this a cute idea for the siggy block?  I probably shouldn't have written my name across the big middle like that, but hey...Willie told me to do it, that's what he would do.

I am looking forward to seeing these all put together.

Have a great week,


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hexie Table Toppers

 Last year I saw Julie Herman at Jaybird Quilts demonstrate this cool ruler in the Beyond the Reef booth at the Long Beach Show.  This ruler by Creative Grids is designed specifically for 4 1/2" strips or 2 strips of 2 1/2" sewn together.  You can cut several 60 degree triangles without moving the ruler.  Perfect for Hexies.  Well by the time I convinced myself to buy one, they were sold out.  = [

(Just now, while I was adding the link I looked at the Creative Grids site and ooh la la.  They've got some new stuff on there.  Check it out at Creative Grids Products) They've got a new one with the setting 30's.

So anyway, I watched the hexagon quilt along on Jaybird's site from the sidelines for the next few months.  I had a 60 degree ruler but knew it could be done more quickly with the crazy looking one, so I waited.

So this year at PIQF in Santa Clara, this is the first thing I got from Beyond the Reef (after the hugs and hellos of course)...mine!  I got to be demo girl and subsequently learn how to use the tool.  Among others.  When we sold out of that fancy ruler, I demoed the 60 degree ruler and found that...hey thats no so bad!

What to do... what to do...?
My Aunt Sandy asked me to make her a table topper to match her newly remodeled kitchen.  So I figured what better way to try out my new ruler.  Mom helped me pick out the fabrics from Calico House in Brea. Robert Kauffman's "Marbleous Jacquard" for the black and "Imperial Collection" for the rest.

 I went a little crazy and ended up with a bunch of I made two, natually!

I can't decide which to give her, so I'll probably just give her both of them...

The first one went together quickly and I machine quilted, I like the way the machine quilting came together to make a star.

The 2nd one I appliquéd to a large square of black fabric and hand quilted.  It only took me a few nights in front of the TV.


So with the left over hexies I made pot holders which insulbright which is basically heat resistant battting.  A trick I learned from Natalie at Beyond the Reef.

If you want to practice your 120 degree binding techniques, I recommend these little buggers.  If you don't, well then add setting corners or appliqué it down to a square.

First of the Christmas presents done!

Hope She likes them
Niece Nicole

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Joy's of a Friendship Group

Every month for the last 5 years I have visited with the EZ Quilters.  We are a friendship group in Orange Country, about 18 strong now.  The women in this group are all wonderful quilters and so creative and talented. 
One very special EZ quilter is Joan Rossen.  This woman never complains, is always encouraging and does some of the most beautiful work I've ever seen.  She has allowed me to show her most recent work of art here.  This double wedding ring is for her daughter and while it took her a while and many great hurdles to climb during this time, she has completed it and done a fantastic job.  Her hand stitching is exquisite and colors beautiful and vibrant.  I wish you all could see it in person.  Maybe we will get her to put it in our Bi-Annual guild quilt show.  

Love you Joannie, I know your daughter is going to absolutely love this quilt.

If you are a lone quilter, join a local group or get into an on-line group, guild or start one yourself.  Even if you may not feel you have the time.  Take it.  You will be inspired, encouraged and constantly challenged to step up your skills.  

I am so honored to be involved in 4 such groups EZ Quilters, Wool Gatherers, Flying Geese Quilt Guild and Bee Splended online bee.

Have a great week!

Love Aunti

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lefty's Lot in Life

Being a left handed person growing up in a world designed for right handed people, its nice when someone makes something just for us.  We do things and think just a little different than our righty siblings.  Not so much as any one would notice, we just tend to just deal.

Remembers that Homer Simpson's neighbor Ned Flanders?  He owned a store  specializing in products for left-handed people: everything from left-handed can openers to an entirely left-handed car, of which only three were ever made. Many of the Leftorium's products are merely labeled as "left-handed," such as pens and nunchucks. He does not sell, however, left-handed eyelash curlers.

As a lefty, you may have overlooked a few little things we learn to deal with along the way, like:
  • When I write with pen or ink, my hand drags across the writing and so its usually smeared and my hand is dirty.  Really an issue back in the day when I did hand drafting.
  • Playing a right handed guitar, i can finger the fret pretty well but my right arm has big trouble strumming a rhythm.  I think Jimi Hendrix actually took a right guitar and restrung it to play it left handed.  Makes my head swim just thinking about it.
  • Can Openers can be a bear because we have to use weaker hand.
  • Rotary cutting fabric on the other side of the table, makes it a little difficult to work at a quilt store layed out for righties, those of you who have tried know what I mean.
  • Most instructions for embroidery, knitting, crochet, etc are for righties, but I just turn them upside down.  On line tutorials you can use a photo editor to give you the reverse.
  • When teaching hand techniques to righties, i just face them and have them mirror my movements.
  • Righty's scissors can be downright painful to use.  Your fingers get all cramped up in the holes and its just awkward from the get go.

Some great Christmas gifts for that left handed quilter or for your wish list if you are a lefty.  My Mom bought me the left handed Ginghers one year for Christmas.  Its like cutting through butter and they fit perfectly.  Also, Martelli makes this left handed rotary cutter, cuz we can get carpel tunnel too.

Do these tools make a difference?  Absolutely!  And one fun added little bonus when righty pick up our tools they are just a little awkward and look at us and smile with a whole new understanding of our lot.

Lefties and friends, please comment with a story or favorite lefty tool.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  Lefties follow me and I'll bring you news of other lefty tools and funnies along the way.

Love Aunti

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Playing Catch-up on Birthday Blocks

My EZ Quilter's Friendship Group is doing a block exchange this year.  On everyone's birthday month, you receive a special block of any kind from each of the 18 members.  It can be something different for each block you create.  The only consistencies are the size 8 1/2" and include a white on white.  I have an applique snowball block with the first letter of their name for each month.

 So here are Lisa, Helen, Liz and Debbie's blocks. This should get me caught up Sept, October and  November.  It has been a fun challenge and its great to see all the different blocks that people come up with. 

Happy Birthday to you!

Love Aunti Nicole